Bisexuality more complex than genetics

Mount Holyoke College Assistant Professor of Politics Joanna Wuest spoke to Scientific American about flaws in a recent study linking bisexuality with risk-taking.

A recent study in the journal, “Science Advances,” is under fire by implying genetic links between bisexuality in men and a propensity for risk-taking. Mount Holyoke College Assistant Professor of Politics Joanna Wuest spoke to Scientific American about flaws in the study.

The authors of the new study report that bisexual behavior in men is genetically distinct from exclusively same-sex behavior. They also suggest that the genes are also linked to possessing an inclination for risk-taking. Wuest, however, took issue with the conclusions.

“It’s a lot of storytelling based around not a lot of data,” she said.

Wuest was also concerned about misrepresenting data to play into negative stereotypes. She warned against linking risk taking with promiscuity, which is a “common and harmful stereotype” of bisexual people. She added that, during the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the belief that bisexual people were more promiscuous led to them being scapegoated as viral vectors.

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